It is my honor to serve as the interim Executive Director of the McKnight Brain Institute while a search for a permanent leader is undertaken. I have no doubt that there will be excellent candidates for the Executive Director position. It is a wonderful opportunity to further develop clinical, translational, and basic neuroscience at the University of Florida.
The MBI is unique, housing the four neuroscience departments of the College of Medicine– neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It also serves as a coordinating center and resource for many other neuroscience research efforts at UF. The MBI houses laboratories and conference facilities that are used by neuroscientists from numerous departments in the College of Medicine and other colleges at the university. The opportunities for interdisciplinary research, coupled with the collaborative spirit I have found since I returned to the university last summer, bode well for the future of research at UF and the effects we can have on basic neuroscience discovery and its translation to human applications.
The recent development and expansion of several large centers, coupled with a number of superb recruitments as part of the Preeminent Scholars program, strengthen the already broad science capabilities at UF, and marks us as an institution on the rise. It also provides opportunities for the MBI to be a resource, a partner, and the stimulus for these and other new efforts. I believe neuroscience at UF is at a meaningful stage, with rapid growth over the past several years and the funding of a number of interdisciplinary centers. The consolidation of new collaborations among many researchers and groups, the push for both innovative basic research and meaningful translational breakthroughs, and the projected opening of a new Neuromedicine Hospital all provide both opportunities and expectations. One of my reasons for returning to my graduate, medical, and residency training alma mater was the chance to help with and participate in the pursuit of these efforts.
The availability of first-rate, cutting-edge instrumentation and affordable prices for centralized resources are, I know, major considerations for our faculty and research staff. We’ve had significant success of a number of our grantees in getting new equipment, and we’ll continue to try to provide further capabilities to the neuroscience community at UF.
My immediate goal as interim Executive Director is to have us continue to expand the productivity and relevance of neuroscience research at the University of Florida, develop critical masses of researchers, research technicians and staff in chosen areas of interest, and thus, have MBI become even more attractive to potential candidates for the permanent job.
Steven T. DeKosky, M.D.
Interim Executive Director
Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida